#BookReview Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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Here’s another #ThrowbackThursday – a novel I read years ago, but reread and created a review for!! This is one of my favourites – Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

 

 

Clockwork Princess is a beautiful finish to one of YA’s best series in recent years.

For years I waited anxiously for a book like Clockwork Princess – a story that ends beautifully, perfectly and without total heart break. With characters as strong as Jem, Will and Tessa, we needed a solid ending that would make all fans happy but also tie up the story just perfectly, and Cassandra Clare delivered.

This book will pull at your heartstrings and destroy you. It’s such a beautiful ending it’s hard to believe it’s all over with. The ups and downs of this series is ended just perfectly that there are no loose ends and no destroyed fans (at least, from what I’ve seen). I dare say that this book is the best book Cassandra Clare has ever written – it rivals the base Mortal Instrument series, and has one step up. This book was even better than City of Heavenly Angels, in my opinion. With such a satisfying conclusion, I have to say it deserves more than five stars. Not many books can be finished so perfectly.

Would I recommend this series? Absolutely. While it’s a YA, it definitely doesn’t feel like your typical YA story. Adults can enjoy this – there isn’t as much ooey, gooey silly teenage angst that is in most YA books. It’s a grown up YA with the odd silly scene. So it’s safe to say it’s a good read. This series can also be used as a standalone – you don’t need to read all the other series (Mortal Instruments, Dark Artifices) to understand this book at all. It is the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, if you’re interested in reading further (they can be read out of order via the series though. TMI came out first, then this series and now The Dark Artifices). I would suggest reading the three books of this series in order though – it’s worthy.

It also has one of the most beautiful covers. I love the original cover – I saw a new one at my local book store recently and it wasn’t as beautiful, but in terms of cover art – judging the book by it’s cover it allowed for this book. With such a great cover comes such a great story.

Problems with this book/series:
Yes, there’s a love triangle. Can they be annoying? Yes. Does it work in this book? Yeah, it’s YA so it’s kind of an expected plot twist these days.
Weak characters – yeah, there are some. But personally, I find having all characters be strong can make for a boring book.
Repeat characters – Cassandra Clare uses the same characters/developments with different names and faces. It’s annoying, but as long as you aren’t just reading her books and expand your library, you don’t notice to much.
Rule Breakers – some of the “cannot be broken rules” are broken in this book. It’s kind of annoying in my eyes, but what can you do? It created the happy ending most fans wanted, so I guess we can over look that…
Tessa – FINALLY we learn what Tessa is. I’m a little disappointed it took so long because it would have been cooler to flesh out all about her throughout the series, but whatever, it works, I guess.

So, overall, this book is really on the fence for most readers – people either love it passionately to no end (ugly cry, putting the book on a pedestal and praying to it sort of deal) or hated it (rip the pages out, burn the book, demand a refund, etc). I’m on the end that enjoyed it and I definitely kept the book (Look at that cover, how can you not love the book for the cover alone?).

So, I will give it five out of five stars. It had it’s faults for sure, but it was a great read that kept me interested, was fast paced, and had an ending that I found to be good.

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#BookReview Rogue Affair by Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker and more!

Hot and sexy young couple in love embracing

Dedication of a Lifetime by Tamsen Parker

I’m torn – I don’t know how to feel about this story. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I was hoping for a little bit…more? Let me explain – I have many points!

1. I love Tamsen Parker and her writing style – she matches with me so well. So writing style wise, I really enjoyed this story. It is smooth and flows easily, which made it easy to read. She gets point for that.

2. But…I felt like there wasn’t much of a plot. It felt more like a discussion, a few random situations, and lots of “sexy time”. I couldn’t see the plot line this story was following. It just seemed to random for me.

3. That being said, this may not have been the best time for me to read it. I’m incredibly frustrated at the moment and I thought some reading would help me. Also, the tablet I read it on now has a random crack and that put me in an even worse mood – so I kept looking at the little crack in my screen as I read it…. Sooooooo… I think I just threw all of my frustration at this story. I picked it apart WAY more than I typically do when casually reading. So keep that in mind…

So, in summary – this book is another great read by Tamsen Parker. It’s an easy, contemporary (yet really sexy) read that is great for one sitting. It’s nothing mind blowing – no crazy “Inception” like plots to follow, it’s just a casual read. Which means, if you are looking for a nice, easy read that involves some heavy romance – you’ve got it!!

Four out of five Stars.

I also read through some of the other stories, so I will rate them as followed:
Ainsley Booth’s Personal Proposal – 4 stars.
I have never read anything by Ainsley Booth before (not that I can remember, anyways) and I think I might have to pick up a few of her books/stories. This story was definitely within my my interests.
Side note: AND SHE HAS A CANADIAN EROTIC ROMANCE SERIES?! I’m totally in. Where can I find this lady’s books?!

Olivia Dade’s Work of Heart – 3 stars.
I spent way to long spelling Olivia as Olicia as I tried to write this review.
This story was cute and I enjoyed it! I just found that this story didn’t wow my socks off. I would like to read more by Olivia to give her a chance because she seems like a really great author. I liked her writing style and the story moved at a good pace for me. I think if she had more room & chapters to expand her story, I would REALLY like her writing.

Kris Ripper’s The President’s Protector – 3 stars.
I’m not super crazy into political romances, but this story was a good read. It was very casual, and flowed easily. I liked Kris’s ability to build characters within this short amount of time – I just don’t think this specific story if my (personal) cup of tea. I would definitely suggest readers giving this story a try because it is REALLY good.

Amy Jo Cousins’s Fallacies & Flirtations – WAS NOT IN MY COPY. It’s in it when it’s released. I’m kind of sad, I won’t lie…but hey! You can’t have everything, can ya? 😉

Emma Barry’s The Fourth Estate – 4 stars.
I liked this story! I thought it was really sexy and I am determined to find more stories by Emma Barry! I love anthologies like this where I can find new authors easily by just reading little snippets of their work!! I really enjoyed reading about Drew and Brynn and their strange relationship. I would have loved for this little concept to be an entire book, because the writing was just fantastic!!

Adriana Anders’s Such Great Heights – 4 stars.
Adriana Anders is another author I HAVE to read more by. I keep falling in love with her little stories – so at some point I will read her books!!! Adriana has a lot of writing talent – her writing isn’t exactly my “style”, but I still get hooked and addicted. It takes quite a bit for an author to do that – so I’m impressed! The story is smooth, it moves fast enough to keep my attention held and it’s well written. Four stars Adriana!! Looooove it!

Kelly Maher’s Dissent and Desire – 3 stars.
Kelly Maher has a great story within this anthology! She definitely is a writer to watch out for!!

Stacey Agdern’s Mr. Klein Goes to Albany – 4 stars.
A Canadian hockey player turned diplomat…That alone got me hooked. I can’t help it, my inner Canadian gets excited about Canadian centered stories (that doesn’t mean every Canadian story is good, but this one was)!! This story had me hooked at the start and kept my attention all the way through. I definitely need to pick up more by Stacey! This story was a pleasant surprise! I’m always a little worried about silly Canadian stereotypes, but this story did not disappoint!

Jane Lee Blair’s Take a Knee – 3 stars.
Another story where the author’s writing shines through!! Jane’s story telling is addicting… I’m really interested in the stories she can tell with her voice!!

Thank you Tamsen Parker for sending me this wonderful advanced reader’s copy! It’s a real joy getting these books BEFORE all the spoilers come out – I’m horrible at reading spoilers!! It’s just to tempting…

 

Visit Tamsen parker at www.tamsenparker.com !!
Follow her on Twitter: @TamsenParker or Facebook! www.facebook.com/tamsenparker

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another one you might enjoy! #BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

 

#BookReview – Apocalypse the Memoir by CS Oliver

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Apocalypse the Memoir by C.S. Oliver

I am sad to say this book somehow got swept up into my house and disappeared for a while. I remember writing it down on my “to read” list and then being unable to find it. I went through all of my book shelves (there are many) and was annoyed and confused on where it could have gone. I gave up the search until I did a little spring cleaning and found it deep under a couch that didn’t seem like anything could have fit under it. Interestingly enough, I decided it was still in beautiful working condition and that my cats must have stolen it. So, many many reads later – here it is! My review of a book I’ve been dying to read for far to long.

This story centers around Indy, our 15 year old narrator who seems to be in a zombie apocalypse in Canada. It’s a humorous take on what seems to be a very common story now, but this book is unique. This book not only has crazy zombies, but a funny narrator, sassy side characters and an interesting back story.

This novel is brutal and definitely R-rated, but it’s fantastic in a sort of Deadpool way. While you’re cringing at the blood and gore, you’re laughing along with Indy’s thoughts and descriptions. The zombies aren’t exactly your typical slow moving, “let me eat your brains” zombies – they are nasty, predatory creatures that give you a movie-monster-esque vibe. I liked that aspect – slow moving zombies always seem kind of boring to me.

Bonus Points: Canadian cities (I’m a Canadian, what can I say?).

“Are hot dogs miracles?”

If that line doesn’t explain the whole book, I don’t know what does. Reading from the view of a 15 year old narrator, I can definitely say that thought is accurate. I am almost certain at that age that sort of thought would be randomly popping into my head.

This entire book seemed to be written with my sense of humour in mind. I don’t see all readers understanding it, but as I read along I couldn’t help but chuckle. I rarely find books funny, but I related with Indy, our main character, far to much. I really enjoyed her spunky thoughts and I wish more novels had narrators like her – different, odd and absolutely hilarious.

There were two “downfalls” to me for this book:

The biggest downfall of this book was that the conversations in this novel did not have quotation marks around them. That was probably the worst part of this novel – the story was fantastic, the humor was on point, but the lack of quotation marks threw me off a bit. To someone like me, it’s slightly annoying. To most readers? Probably not something that would turn them away from the book.

The second downfall or question I have – was this book all a metaphor? The first half of the book seems like an epic, film ready novel for a zombie dystopia/apocalypse. The second half seemed so interesting and more like a 1984 novel ready to be dissolved and taken apart in an English class. I loved seeing these two kind of smashed together into one book, but it gave me far to many questions. I want to march up to CS Oliver and ask so many questions… But maybe that’s a good thing.

Overall, this book is deemed worthy by me. I definitely want to read more by CS Oliver and I hope any more books created by CS are just as sassy and thrilling!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW

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To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year lunch is a love letter to all who have a family – blood bond or not.

Diane Keyes has done one miraculous job I had never expected to see in my life – she wrote a novel collecting Wendy’s, family, love, and warm, happy feelings all in one. This book truly hits all the right notes for me – it’s sweet, inspiring, heart melting and everything I needed in my life today. It’s a book that celebrates family – whether it be by blood or through experiences. And I can’t recommend this book enough!

This small but mighty book is a non-fiction recount of how a family came together for lunch once at week at Wendy’s. Diane highlights some of the rough and tough times that will make your heart clench up, but she also delivers some beautiful, motivating stories as well. Your heart won’t be able to take the extravagant roller coaster Diane makes in this book!

One lesson I learned from this book: Family is powerful.
Blood does not always define the family, and Diane shows this. She not only shows her strong bond with her genetically related family, but the friendships and bonds you can make with others. These simple lunches (that seem like such a silly but genius idea) really highlight how one small change (like meeting up with friends once a week) can really affect you!

I truly appreciate Diane’s hard work. You can tell this story is coming from the heart! Not only does it give a historical background, but it gives you an emotional one too. I am totally inspired by this novel, and I recommend everyone who wants a little splash of happiness and empathy in their life to pick this up.

Five out of five stars.

Quick Book Review: BELIEVE by JAN WALTERS

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Book Title: Believe
Book Author: Jan Walters

Introduction: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Review:

This book is beautifully written, and it’s definitely one of the more interesting books I’ve received from Goodreads. I really appreciated Jan Walters attention to detail and historical romance she entwines in this story. This time hopping story reminds me a bit of “Outlander”, a woman being transported in time and to England. It’s a great take on a traditional story (time travel and romance),

I did find this book slow moving and I wasn’t super into it. It took me a very long time to finish this book, which made me not as interested in it. I love a fast paced book – slow moving books tend to bore me and get me disinterested. There were also a few inconsistencies, which had me disinterested as well.

Overall, this is a great book. It didn’t interest me due to the slower pace, but it’s still a fantastic book! I would recommend it to anyone who’s interested in historical romances and time travel stories!

Three out of five stars.

Young Adult July Reads Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

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Photos via Goodreads.

Book Review:
Book Title: The Fault in our Stars

Book Author: John Green

Rave and Rant: I read this book after my father lost his battle to cancer, and it gave me a beautiful insight into a land where cancer is not viewed as the villain and rather as a fact of life. This book is not your typical love story! It followed sarcastic teenagers who live with cancer, and does not mainly focus on the cancer, it follows their life. It is a beautifully written book and John Green brings his excellent wits in this novel. I’d suggest it to anyone, but remember to have a tissue box nearby once you’ve finished the first half of the book! This book deals with strong emotional themes. Five stars!

Potential Issues: This book does make cancer seem a little romanticized. When I look back on reading it, at the time it was the type of book I definitely needed. I was hurting and I needed a book that didn’t make cancer seem like this horrible villain in my story. This book might not be for everyone, but it helped me at the time. Is cancer scary? Yes. It is life ending, horrible, and ruins lives? Yes. But can this book help heal? Yes.

This book will make you cry – it’s definitely sad, but at the same time it gives you  a different insight into cancer. Yes, there is a romance story in it, but these characters will give you some form of hope. There are beautiful quotes throughout the novel that show you cancer from a very different perspective. Readers must keep in mind this book was written after John Green lost a friend to cancer as well, so this book could have helped him heal.

Final Thoughts: This book is a YA novel – that means it is not going to be 100% realistic. This novel has it’s ups and down in many ways. The characters don’t seem to talk like teenagers would (but the novel was written by an adult). I found Hazel (the main character) to be quite average (other than her amazing quotes), but sometimes you don’t want the perfect Mary Jane as your main character. Gus is kind and a jerk, all wrapped up in one package. He’s not your perfect male lead, which is why I like him. Yes he has his issues, but at the same time he is romanticized for the audience this book is aimed towards. There’s a villain who has his reasons for being evil, but they don’t entirely make up for his behaviour. Overall, I enjoyed this book because it was there when I needed it to be – it’s a good book to read to heal after losing someone to cancer because it gives you a very soft and sweet look compared to the horrors a cancer story typically is.

Five out of five stars. I enjoyed this novel.

Quick Book Review: Into the Blizzard: Walking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead by Michael Winter

In honour of Canada Day, here is my review of a book about Canada (well, Newfoundland)!!

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Photo via Goodreads.

Since I am a Canadian, I decided this book would be an interesting read that would enhance my knowledge of Canada. And surprisingly, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected!

I wanted to read the book to gain more knowledge, but I ended up really enjoying the book and getting into it.

The book follows the journey of the author through Newfoundland and past battlefields and grave sites of soldiers. The chapters in this book were short and sweet, but the nicest little gem was how much information and facts that were within the small chapters. Each chapter involved a small journey or task completed by the author, but little facts either about the author’s childhood or the wars were included. These facts, despite being anywhere from one sentence to only a few paragraphs in length, gave an amazing and gigantic insight to how the War was fought and dealt with by soldiers.

The only downfall I saw to this book was how simple some of the language was. The read was smooth and quick, and I didn’t find myself getting bored with the facts and plot laid out in the story. Overall, this book was incredibly well written and a gem I would definitely read again or suggest to anyone who is interested in history, wars, or specifically Canadian history.

I believe this book would help many high school students studying history understand it a bit more (considering the fact that this book would have helped me a lot when I sat bored in history class).

Amazing book! Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.